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A platform to LINk between CHemistry and PhysIcs of colloidal Nanomaterials

Project description

A non-destructive method for studying chemical and physical properties of colloidal nanomaterials

Colloids are complex mixtures where microscopic particles of a substance are evenly dispersed throughout a second substance. In industry, they are used in food processing, cosmetics and emulsion paints to achieve the necessary flow properties. Modern X-ray light sources are perfectly suited to investigating chemical compound reactions and structures. However, hard radiation destroys colloidal nanomaterials. The EU-funded LINCHPIN project aims to develop innovative micro-reactors that should allow researchers to analyse colloidal nanomaterials using non-destructive radiation methods. Project work could lead to the development of nanomaterials with excellent electronic properties for use in energy conversion and energy storage.


The recent successful applications of photon-in-photon-out spectroscopy in condense matter physics, bio-inorganic chemistry and catalysis build upon the high brilliance of modern X-ray sources and realization of dedicated emission spectrometers. However, probing with highly energetic X-ray beam puts many constraints on the sample environment and requires probing faster than the X-ray radiation damage occurs. This strongly limits the applicability of the method in studying the chemistry of colloidal nanomaterials.
The objective of LINCHPIN is to investigate the emergence of electronic structure of nanomaterials in solution by hard X-ray photon-in-photon-out spectroscopy. To reach this very ambitious target, LINCHPIN consolidates an interdisciplinary engineering, spectroscopic and chemically driven effort. My group aim for developing micro-reactors, which will enable new fundamental insights related to the chemistry and electronic properties of the transition metal nitrides and sulfides.
The main scientific goals are to study at the relevant time scales the kinetics and dynamics of: (a) short-lived molecular intermediate states and pre-nucleation clusters, (b) metal-sulfur and metal-nitrogen bond formation and their condensation in solution, (c) electronic structure changes during growth of nanostructures, and (d) concurrently interdependent electronic and chemical processes. The ultimate goal is to have a handle on designing and selecting, still in the reaction solution, the nanomaterials with the most promising electronic properties relevant for energy conversion and storage. Moreover, the proposed micro-reactors along with experimental spectroscopic protocols and the concurrent fundamental knowledge create a paradigm shift for in situ time-resolved experiments with an impact in many other fields ranging from catalysis, sustainable flow chemistry to biomedical applications.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 964 375,00
Mittelweg 177
20148 Hamburg

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Hamburg Hamburg Hamburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)